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A Rising Man: A Novel Hardcover – May 9, 2017
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In the days of the Raj a newly arrived Scotland Yard detective is confronted with the murder of a British officialin his mouth a note warning the British to leave India or else Calcutta 1919 Captain Sam Wyndham former Scotland Yard detective is a new arrival to Calcutta Desperately seeking a fresh start after his experiences during the Great War Wyndham has been recruited to head up a new post in the police force He is immediately overwhelmed by the heady vibrancy of the tropical city but with barely a moment to acclimatize or to deal with the ghosts that still haunt him Wyndham is caught up in a murder investigation that threatens to destabilize a city already teetering on the brink of political insurgency The body of a senior official has been found in a filthy sewer and a note left in his mouth warns the British to quit India or else Under tremendous pressure to solve the case before it erupts into increased violence on the streets Wyndham and his two new colleaguesarrogant Inspector Digby and Sergeant Banerjee one of the few Indians to be recruited into the new CIDembark on an investigation that will take them from the opulent mansions of wealthy British traders to the seedy opium dens of the city Masterfully evincing the sights sounds and smells of colonial Calcutta A Rising Man is the start of an enticing new historical crime series
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Captain Sam Wyndham is an attractive main character, who learns about Bengali Calcutta as he hunts a murderer and a train robber. Mukherjee gives the reader a wonderful look at 1919 Calcutta with the politics of the Indian independence movement butting heads with the complacent British Raj. What Sam learns, the reader learns. as well. The supporting characters are well drawn and interesting. I'm looking forward to Abir Mukherjee's newest novel in the series.
All in all, he's a very likable, very human detective. Being new in India, Sam hasn't developed the contempt for the natives common among his fellow officers. He even starts favoring the company of his native sergeant Banerjee over his arrogant British subordinate Digby.
The murder of a rising man in British administration is Sam's first case. Almost simultaneously he gets another case thrown at him, an attack on a train that looks like a robbery gone wrong. Sam and his men investigate systematically, which makes this an engrossing police procedural on the surface. But politics muddy the waters at every turn. Insurrection is brewing in India, simultaneously with Ghanaian-inspired non-violent resistance. This novel weaves politics into the plot with finesse and offers a fascinating picture of the Raj.
There are some terrific action scenes. Sam, being battle trained in fighting and strategy, makes a great action hero. He also has a wry sense of humor, which emerges in witty dialog and in Sam's sardonic stream of consciousness. Abir Mukherjee is really a very good writer to give us such an engaging and fun protagonist.
A Rising Man is an impressive first novel, and heralds a series that promises to be addictive. I look forward to the next book.
Again, this has the potential to be a very good series.
Also, it's just a great read; I'm looking forward to the second of the series.
Most recent customer reviews
In the opening page Wyndham's statement sets the tone, "When you think you’ve seen it...Read more